Years ago the Rogue River
Valley was home to the Shasta, Takilma, and Athabascan Indians. Then
gold was discovered in 1852 - and miners thronged to the valley in
search of a fortune in nuggets, followed by farmers lured to the
valley by the fertile soil and favorable growing conditions.
Small towns seemingly sprang up overnight, and as the
California-Oregon Stage Road grew dusty with increasing loads of goods
and supplies, the communities of Ashland, Talent, Phoenix,
Jacksonville, and Central Point grew prosperous as trading centers.
It wasn't until 1883 that the Oregon & California Railroad reached
Medford, Southern Oregon. Medford grew rapidly both in
size and importance. By 1896, it had a population of 2,500 and had
established itself as a major shipping and railway center.
Today, Medford, with a population of nearly 80,000, is still
the business, commercial, and professional center of Jackson County.
Visitors and residents can enjoy the changing of the four seasons and
overall mild climate. Elevation is 1380 feet above sea level; rainfall
average is 19 inches; temperatures vary from average lows of 31-41° to
average highs of 88-100°. The timber industry, agriculture, and
tourism are basic to the economy.
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